Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Morgan Keller, Communications Manager, ACLU of Delaware
ACLU of Delaware Urges Officials to Go Further on Proposed Policing Reforms
This statement is attributable to Mike Brickner, Executive Director of the ACLU of Delaware.
“The ACLU of Delaware thanks the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus and Attorney General Kathy Jennings for proposing an initial set of reforms to address systemic oppression and violence inherent in Delaware’s policing system. We hope that the mass outrage and cries for justice occasioned by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery will echo in the minds of our elected officials long enough to bring about transformational change and not mere platitudes and symbolic changes.
We hope that the voices of the Black community will continue to be heard. Not just in the streets during a protest – but with a seat at the table in the halls of power and at every decision-making forum in between. We hope that reforms to police oversight, transparency and accountability will be given real teeth and bad actors will face real consequences – but even more, we hope that our leaders will be bold enough to envision and create a new future for Black and Brown communities and empower the people in those communities to lead the change they want for themselves.
We call on the state and local officials to embolden their proposed reforms by:
- Investing in Black and Brown communities by diverting funding from the police to control them and instead using that money for strong schools, fair housing, access to health care, economic opportunity, and other worthwhile community programs;
- Considering the harm inflicted on entire communities by aggressive policing tactics of units like Operation Safe Streets and the Governor's Task Force;
- Reforming probation so that its purpose is to support successful reentry and rehabilitation rather than to heap hurdles in the path of a return to an existence uncontrolled by the justice system;
- Ending the use of police in schools and instead investing in more counselors and advocates trained to assist youth who have experienced trauma and those with disabilities; and
- Investing in data collection and publication on policing practices, including stops, arrests, fines, fees, use of force, and civil forfeitures. We cannot meaningfully reform that which we do not fully understand.”